I had grand plans for this year - 2020. I started off the year by creating and taking part in the #MTBoS2020 blogging initiative asking people to blog on the 20th of each month. I did pretty good up to May 20th. I did a few posts in July and a couple in August as I was thinking about returning to school. I have done nothing since. I think there are 2 reasons why:
1.) I have a big mouth and I was afraid I would get in trouble. (Nothing has changed here, so I will just be careful with what I say. Yes, I will be censoring myself.)
2.) Time. It takes so much time to get each hybrid lesson ready and I have 3 different preps. I don't have any extra time to blog. However, it is an important part of my teaching. It is the reflection piece. And, with so much different this year, I should be reflecting. I have written a lot of blog posts in my head, but not typed anything.
Therefore, this will be my first post in the #MTBoSYuleBlog blogging challenge - 12 posts over December break. I don't think I will get to 12 posts seeing as today is Tuesday and I go back in on Monday. But, hopefully, I can share some posts.
I am thinking about blogging about how I get through each day, Desmos (of course), Deltamath (life saver), how I am making my lessons, and flipping my classroom.
Just a little about our school because this year every school is so different. Our school started late this year - mid September. We have been in hybrid all year with an exception of 2 days remote due to our first cases and then a week of remote after Thanksgiving - which coincided with my quarantine week. Yes, I was contact traced to one of my students so I tested and quarantined. Our students are in 2 cohorts - green and orange. They come to school every other day. Normally we have a weird rotating schedule that I like on a normal year. A day is periods 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. B day is periods 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, etc for seven days and seven period rotation. We are still doing this and repeating days, so A day green, A day orange. The kids are in hybrid one day with us and doing asynchronous work the next day at home. I don't think this is the ideal schedule, but it, like much else, is beyond my control, so I just teach whoever walks through the door.
I have three preps. I have college prep geometry, college prep Algebra 2, and Accelerated Algebra 2/Precalculus. I taught CP Alg 2 years ago but I didn't even bother to pull out those binders. It is nice to start fresh. I have taught Acc Alg 2 since the beginning - 16 years, so I am glad I have that knowledge to build on - what do they need to know, what can I remove, how can I order it and chunk it, what mistakes will they make, what new notations do they need to know. And, I have taught college prep geo before. This is the class that I really need to see more often. Geometry benefits from more practice because it is like learning a new language with all the drawings, namings, and notations, but we are making our way through.
I decided early this summer to flip my classroom. I did it years ago when it was first a thing. I did it for 4 lessons in a row. The students watched premade videos on systems of equations and then when they came into class, we worked on those bigger word problem type of problems. This year, I am all in. I am making my own videos for each of my three classes. I will save the numbers for another post. When the students are live in front of me, it is a math workshop. They are doing an activity on Desmos that is usually about discovery and leads to discussion and then practicing with Deltamath and assessing on Deltamath. I knew I wanted to streamline things this year, so that is what I have. Our brand new learning management system - thrown at us this September (biting tongue here), making my own videos (took me all summer how to best to that), and using Desmos and Deltamath.
The reasons I have made it teaching this far this year:
1.) The kids. They are awesome. They are doing the work and finding success.
2.) Desmos and Deltamath. I couldn't do it without them. So, thank you.